The new terminal 3 at Dubai Airport would need to be big, not only in terms of physical space, but also in terms of the performance of the key baggage system modules, particularly belt curve conveyors.
Some years ago, the Dubai Aviation Authority (DCA) posted the most stringent curve specifications that bidders had ever had to match. Their top priority was durability in the harsh climate conditions. Now around 650 transnorm belt curve conveyors run successfully.
Whilst most airports have a limit of 30kg, passengers in Dubai can check in up to 50kg per person. To accommodate these weights, the global standard 600mm wide check-in belt has to be increased to 1000mm. Rules for baggage dimensions are similarly generous, almost anything is accepted that can physically be placed on the check-in belt.
As a consequence, the belt curve width was enlarged from the standard 1,000mm to 1,200mm and its load capacity increased.
The last and most stringent demand made on the Desert Curve by the DCA was an availability as close to 100% as possible.
This is an important point knowing that the reputation of Dubai’s flag carrying airline Emirates is for a 100% flight plan reliability, with no delays in departure due to missing baggage and the shortest baggage transfer times between connecting flights.
Once the theoretical demands on Terminal 3 had been specified, the DCA made a further decision: A test-loop would be set up, under desert conditions, incorporating belt curves from Transnorm, the market leader.
In 2004, many miles from the Dubai airport terminals, a simple corrugated iron warehouse was built to house the test-loop. Five transnorm curves, matching the tender specifications, were to be tested in continuous operation for around 12 months under extreme conditions.
The test situation was realistic: baggage weighing 55kg-70kg was conveyed for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, stopping and starting the system whilst fully loaded.
From south and west, the Schemel desert wind brought in sand and dust. From north and east a salt laden onshore wind blew in from the Persian Gulf 8km away. Over many days the midday temperature reached 50°C, and, during the night dropped to almost 0°C causing condensation to form.
So, despite 10 years experience of curves being installed in the Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Abu Dhabi region and more than 30 years of Transnorm expertise in the design of this new desert curve, local conditions were causing a lot of concern.
However, when the test was successfully completed, Transnorm had fulfilled all that they had been asked to do and even more.
The completed Dubai Terminal 3 baggage handling system now includes around 650 belt curve conveyors and, after an incident free two year test and start-up phase, the DCA decided to exchange the curves in Terminals 1 and 2 for Transnorm curves.
To turn customer requirements into reliable products that perform beyond their specification needs experience.
This installation copes with the harshest requirements in the world and reality is the determining factor for satisfaction.
Transnorm has probably mastered the biggest challenge ever in belt curve technology and we at Transnorm are proud to be a proven top OEM partner in the development of baggage handling systems.
Our belt curve program, supplying advanced belt turn solutions to airports around the world for over 30 years is now supported with a valuable new model: The desert curve.